Berhalter speaks on USMNT roster changes, racial abuse of McKenzie
USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter opened his pre-Costa Rica friendly (and post-Mexico win!) press conference with an update on the construction of and availability to his roster.
The Yanks will play Costa Rica on Wednesday in a friendly that could see the CONCACAF Nations League champions take three of three wins from its three top confederation rivals (No offense, Canada, Panama, and Jamaica).
[ MORE: CONCACAF World Cup qualifying latest ]
Berhalter announced that Matt Miazga has left the team in order to prepare for his wedding and that Nashville SC back Walker Zimmerman is joining the team in his place.
And he also spoke of the racial abuse suffered by center back Mark McKenzie
As for injuries...
Bryan Reynolds, Zack Steffen injury update
Man City goalkeeper Zack Steffen was injured after an hour of the CONCACAF Nations League Final, which opened the door to Ethan Horvath’s super sub heroics but also to worries about his health.
The good news for him, and AS Roma back Bryan Reynolds, is that their current injuries do not appear to be long-term, saying that both players won’t play versus Costa Rica due to “bone bruises on the knee.”
As for Yunus Musah being the lone field player not to see the field in the semifinal and final win, Berhalter says there is nothing to worry about for the Valencia phenom.
“Tactical decision that he didn’t play,” Berhalter said. “He’s a young player and it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his place in the team.”
Berhalter on racial abuse of Mark McKenzie, England players
The USMNT coach was asked about the racial abuse endured by centerback Mark McKenzie after the Genk defender revealed some heinous comments on his Instagram feed following some on-field struggles in the win over Mexico.
Berhalter, to no one’s surprise, issued a strong rebuke of those who abused McKenzie and added in his concern over the growing abuse of world footballers including England and Premier League players in recent weeks.
“It’s absolutely disgusting things like that,” Berhalter said. “It has no place in the sport. The guys take enough criticism about performance when they have an off-game. To bring something like race into it is disgusting and out-of-bounds and there’s no place for it. We support Mark 100 percent and we don’t stand for anything of that stuff. We have absolutely zero tolerance. I wish there was a way to hold people like that accountable. People get on Twitter and social media and get bold, and I wish there was a way to hold people accountable.”